A little more than a week ago, we went up to Low’s Bridal in Brinkley, Arkansas–the Kleinfeld of the Mid-South. I’d been dress shopping at David’s Bridal already, just to kind of see, and had found a Vera Wang White dress I loved. When I put it on, I felt something I can’t totally explain, but that might be spelled like “Ooooo….ooooh!”
Conveniently, of course, the dress turned out to be one of three Kim Kardashian had worn at her wedding to basketball dude, though I don’t think I’d really say no to a dress just for that reason.
We’re getting married on a plantation with a gorgeous garden and barn, and well, the Vera seemed a bit out-of-place. If we were getting married in a ballroom, sure. But anything outside seemed simply silly in this dress, as much as I loved it.
I kept an open mind, though, and just wanted to go to Low’s for the experience. If I found nothing I liked better, I’d go back to the Vera.
My wedding dress visions started years ago with the idea of a sleek, thin satin sleeveless sheath V-neck. Very specific, but I knew it was what I definitely wanted. By the time I was ready to start trying gowns on, I had moved to a possibility of a sweetheart neckline, and began trying on a mix of the two. When I walked into David’s, though, I saw the Vera on a mannequin and was blown away. I pointed to it, and my mom said, “Ew, that’s awful.” Eventually, I decided to try it on anyway. She loved it! I told her I’d almost completely avoided trying it on, because of what she said, when she told me she was talking about the hideous brown and pink bridesmaid dresses on the mannequin right next to it. Naturally.
Yet this began my vision of glamour and sex appeal, my obsession with mermaid silhouettes.
When we went to Low’s, I brought a few photos of what I was sort of thinking, and my girl started pulling gowns. I began to obsess over the full tulle skirts I was seeing in the showroom, and she pulled a couple “just to see.” I tried on the first gown, and, meh.
I tried on the second gown, and I immediately felt different than I had with any other dress. I felt like, “Oh. I’m a bride now. I feel like a princess. I didn’t know I wanted to feel like a princess! I am a princess, dammit!” The crystals, the tulle, the satin, the waist, the uh! I loved it all, but kept trying on others.
I ended up slipping on a tight, ruched sweetheart neckline gown with a huge ruffled skirt and mermaid silhouette–sexy and glamorous, but I didn’t like the hem. And again, I felt I’d look silly walking across the grass in such a getup.
The saga continued, until I tried on a sweetheart neckline lace bodice princess gown with a huge tulle skirt and a lace bolero. I felt like, “I’m Grace Kelly. I’m a freakin’ woman now! Whoa.” I wanted to keep it on and continued to “play” in it while waiting for my girl, Lupe, to bring another gown in. I was convinced.
Yet I kept going back to the second gown, the one that had made me feel like a princess, a bride. I said yes to the dress and a veil that looked made for the gown.
Yet being the way I am, no decision goes unexamined. As soon as I got home, I began to worry I had made the wrong decision. Is it too not me? Did I want something sexy? Does it even look good on me?!
I keep trying to remember the feeling I had and the vision I saw when I said, “Yes, yes, yes!” to the dress, but it’s difficult. This is the most important dress in your life; you want it to be perfect. I wanted three or four different dresses, but when you can only settle on one, I think you–or perhaps just I–naturally worry about making the right choice, whatever that means.
I know when I get the dress in a few months and take it in for alterations, I’ll remember why I chose it. I’ll remember the feeling. For now, I have to trust my instincts.